Fool’s Errand

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard P. Feynman

Don’t mistake action for progress. Movement is good, but if you’re going in circles you’re not going to see the results you are looking for.

For example, no amount of programming you do will make you a better guitarist. It might give you ideas, but it won’t make you better at songwriting—only practicing guitar can do that.

Here’s a subtle one—posting and commenting on social media for your business or client. Will it get you likes? Sure. Will those likes turn into sales or true fans? Maybe a few. But it won’t make your product better. That takes work and customer research.

Progress is doing the right things on the stuff that matters to you.

Everything else is either play or a waste of your time.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #949

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Daily Focus on Your Vision

If you’re like me, you have all these big aspirational goals and visions in your head of what you want your life to be.

These goals are clear-cut and motivating on paper. Buuuuut then life happens. Responsibilities, commitments, debt.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the freedom and flexibility yet to build a writing cabin in the woods so I can write my novel.

I have to find ways to do it in between two full-time jobs, time spent with loved ones, and a side business.

Things come up. Some of them truly important, others that feel important at the time. Everything and everyone around is vying for your attention and energy. So there your vision of the future sits, in dream status. 

How many dreams of a better tomorrow exist only in people’s heads?

But if you are reading this, I know you have a desire to be more. You want to make change in, not only yourself, but the world.

You here the phrase, ‘life is a marathon, not a sprint’ but that leaves an important piece out:
Life is a marathon where at the finish line, you die. Morbid, I know, but vital. (Pun intended)

We can’t just jog our way through life. 

Sure, we are making progress and doing important things, but are we giving it our all on what’s important to us?

Vision is longterm thinking, but lived on a daily basis.

Vision is not fixed. Your future desires can change and improve as you grow and expand into a better person.

Here’s how:

Write and Read your goals everyday

Keeping your vision in your mind will paint how you see the world. Everything you do will be viewed through the lense of how to make your goals happen. Opportunities and ideas will be abundant.

Hone your vision by honing yourself

Read. A lot. Learn from people if different circumstances and walks of life from you. Study the greats. Craft your vision of your future around what has worked for others before.

Make small, yet bold moves towards that future every day.

We make think on our past experience and have our thoughts towards a better tomorrow, but the vision of what can be happens in the actions of our today. What we do in the present not only defines how we feel about our past going forward, but creates the future we all desire. I’ve said it a million times, and will say it a million more until everyone in the universe hears it — Small action leads to big change. Take bold moves towards your future every opportunity you can today.

Whatever obstacles and pain you’ve faced in the past, your future is determined but what you do in this very moment. You have the opportunity to write your own story.

Remember, dreams don’t just happen, they are made. And ‘future’ ‘vision’ are words that elicit powerful emotions and motivations, but your future lies in your today. Getting things right today and the next today, compounds into a life where your vision is a reality.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Inspiration +

Ryan Holiday, 2007 The Business of Running:

“You run to define yourself, and when you allow a short term challenge to alter your pace and long term strategy, you’ve just been defined by someone else.”

Fear and Desire

“Having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the mouth of a great cavern, in front of which I stood some time, astonished. Bending back and forth, I tried to see whether I could discover anything inside, but the darkness within prevented that. Suddenly there arose in me two contrary emotions, fear and desire — fear of the threatening dark cave, desire to see whether there were any marvelous thing within.”

Leonardo da Vinci, excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci Biography

Like many things in life, creativity, and pursuing your dreams creates a juxtaposition of fear and desire. We have a desire to be, do, and become what we dream, but at the same time fear starting, continuing, and succeeding. We desire the outcome, yet fear the outcome.

When we give into fear, we train ourselves to live without the dream, accepting that it will never happen. This is my life as it is. Yet, even so, we live with a longing that by some turn of fate, we will chance upon our dreams on a morning walk. How many of us are waiting for our big break? Waiting for your dreams to happen is like waiting to win the lottery when you haven’t even bought a lottery ticket.

Have you ever heard yourself say or think, ‘oh that could never happen to me’ or ‘I could never do that, only they can do that.’

This is what Paul would call a negative mindset. No matter how much you want something to happen, if you don’t believe that you can do it, it’s not going to happen. A positive mindset is essential. (You don’t have to be overly-happy all the time, but you do have to believe that you will find a way to your goals.)

What happens when we give into desire instead of fear?

When we push through the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, we step into our discomfort zones and change our capacity of what’s possible. We open our minds to new possibilities. 

You step on stage, sing your heart out, and…. well. That’s it. You did it. You did something.
You didn’t die, you probably could have done better, but better comes with experience and deliberate practice.

To make your dreams reality, you must let curiosity win.

In creativity and life, there will always be a choice of fear and desire. Who you become — your potential — will be determined by those choices.

Will you choose to give into fear, or will you give into curiosity?

I could let my writing, music, or ideas slide because of fear. Fear of putting myself out there, fear of rejection, or fear of failure. This always reminds me of George McFly from Back to the Future (Marty’s Dad). He’s always saying the line, ‘I could never put my work out there, what if they don’t like it? I don’t think I could take that kind of rejection.’ An extreme example ha, but applicable to our lives. What does giving into fear do to George’s life? He has a mediocre job and life. He never publishes his novels. He get’s pushed around by Biff (and probably everyone else).

Ultimately, what is giving into fear is going to get us?

What is fear going to give you?

The same thing you’ve always had. The longing and desire for change, but not enough bravado to take the leap. Best case scenario, fear only gives you mediocrity. (And mediocrity is the opposite of a Renaissance Life)

Fear and desire will never be an easy choice. 
At best its going to be a grey area. Sometimes fear is good. The fear of being attacked by a lion is useful when you’re in Africa. (Fear of being mauled in Washington is not very useful) But when it comes to creative fear, curiosity must always beat out fear. If you want to help change the world and be a mover and shaker, you must not let fear stop you.

So back to young Leonardo. As he looked into the depths of the black, villainous cave, did he choose fear or desire?

‘Desire won. His unstoppable curiosity triumphed, and Leonardo went into the cave. There he discovered, embedded in the wall, a fossil whale. “Oh mighty and once-living instrument of nature, your vast strength was to no avail.”… “You lashed with swift, branching fins and forked tail, creating in the sea sudden tempests that buffeted and submerged ships. Oh time, swift despoiler of all things, how many kings, how many nations hast thou undone, and how many changes of states and of circumstances have happened since this wondrous fish perished.”’

Walter Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci

To be unstoppable, we must let curiosity drive us.

And as morbid as it sounds, we are all going to die and only have one life to live in this world.

Whether we choose fear or desire, time waits for no one.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” — Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Are Your Goals Compatible?

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals recently.

(Okay okay… more like I’m obsessed with goals and drive everyone crazy around me with ideas.)

We all have things we want to do, be and accomplish in our lives, but our desire usually doesn’t match up with our reality.

If you could quantify goals, I would imagine the data would say the vast majority of people don’t actually make their goals a reality. (Sad panda)  

To go even further up my butt of made up data, I’d say you could divide it into

A) people trying but failing and not continuing after failure, and  B) people not trying at all.

What traits can we adopt that separate those who make it happen versus those who never try? Why do we let our day to day busyness get in the way of what really matters to us? And why can’t we all be our own josh darn Steve Jobs, or a #girlboss and make our dreams come true?


One aspect that effects our ability to succeed is compatibility.

I keep running back to the question of, ‘Are all of my goals compatible with each other?’ 

Do they compliment each other, or create friction?

Are My Goals Compatible With Each Other?

Imagine, if you will, your goals being electro-magnets. 🤓

Each goal you desire is attracting you to an outcome of positivity or negativity. The more electricity — the energy, grit, work and time you put in — the more likely your life will bend towards that positive outcome of success. 

If you want to start your own company, the positive side could be creating something meaningful, financially successful or improving the world in some fashion; The negative could be going bankrupt, trusting the wrong people, injuring your love life because all you do is work (cue Rhianna song).

Here’s where things even get more complex: 

When each goal you have is a magnet, they can all point your life compass towards different directions.


Compatible Goals Compliment

Compatible Goals compliment each other and point your life in a similar direction. If your goals are compatible, they will stay true and build upon each other to greater and more unique ways. (All good in the neighborhood)

What you do will be in alignment to who you are.

Having multiple goals means you have to give ’em more electricity, but they can charge up one another to greater effect.

However, what happens when your goals are incompatible?

Do they cancel each other out? Can giving electricity to one block the others?

What if incompatible goals give us that feeling of being stuck? Where nothing seems to be working and your completely frustrated by the fact that you can’t seem to make anything work out.

And here’s another inception point: not only goals are created equally.  Some are meant for you, others are distractions from outside sources or primal desires that only distract you from your true callings.

I (unfortunately) can’t help you decide which is which, the answer must come from you, I can only give you questions as tools to help guide you on your journey.

‘Compatible goals’ is interesting idea, with profound implications.

In the end, there’s only so much electricity we can give to our creative pursuits and life at one time.

Some goals need to be ignored, others need to pushed to later, and compatible ones need to be pursued with all your might.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner, Renaissance Man: June 8th 7AM EST, Chattanooga TN,

Action Steps

Make a list of your current goals you are pursuing.

Do your best to prioritize them by importance.

Action Questions

Q: Are my current goals compatible with one another?

Q: Do I have any incompatible goals that are canceling my most important goals?

Q: Do I know where my electricity is going?

Q: And if your not sure what’s most important to you, start with asking ‘What are my strengths? What charges me? What does an ideal life look like to me?’

Related Wisdom

Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller

Book: The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Finding Your Goal and Purpose in Life by James Altucher

Follow Through on Your Goals 2016 Edition by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income

The One Thing About by Seth Godin


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Introducing IDEATION — Let There Be Innovation

Everything around us was, and is an idea.

It was created.

Look up and notice the craftsmanship around you.

Some idea are straightforward, to the point — getting the job done.

Some are well thought out, elegant and remarkable.

Some are inspired by generations of ideas.

That’s the beauty of ideation —

Ideas spark ideas.

Create a great idea, and it might impact generations of ideas going forward.


We all have ideas, but some are better than others.

Or we have that moment when we see a brilliant idea, and say ‘AH! Why didn’t I think of that!’

The question is,

What makes a great idea great, and how do we create excellent ones?

Q: What makes an idea great?


IDEATION is a RenaissanceLife series focused on this question and others like

  • What makes ideas sticky? And what makes them fall flat?
  • What are the components?
  • Should we give ideas away?
  • What makes ideas clever, elegant, and impactful?
  • What does a bad idea look like and how do we avoid / spot them?

Welcome to IDEATIONLet There Be Innovation.


Josh Waggoner